Sketch of a Recirculating Sand Media Filter System - EPA Septic Media Filter Capacity & Maintenance
     


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This document discusses the design capacity and maintenance of septic media filter systems.Media filter septic systems use a conventional septic tank followed by any of several methods to further filter and treat septic effluent before it is discharged to the soil, soil surface, or waterway.

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Septic Media Filter System Capacity

A typical media filter system is designed using a flow of 50 to 65 gallons per day per occupant of the building served by the system. This number, cited by several authors including Jantrania, Minnis, and Kahn, Allen, and Jones, is less than other total wastewater load estimates but is considered by these authors to be realistic and is consistent with a number of studies performed on typical wastewater flow rates and quantities.

Septic Media Filter Maintenance

The system design maintenance required of the media filter system as well as its operating characteristics vary considerably depending on the media selected, with open cell foam and textiles providing higher gallons per day loading ability than peat and other media.

"Maintenance" in this case will refer to inspection of the media bed to determine when the media needs to be cleaned or replaced.

Some septic media systems, such as sand filter septic beds, are raked or agitated rather than replaced, but ultimately all filter systems will become clogged and face media replacement.

Septic filter media maintenance and replacement cost should be factored into estimates of alterative septic system costs when comparing alternative septic system designs.

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